After perceiving the spunkiness of what seemed like a rather sporty mini-MPV in the city, the open road clearly changed our impressions. The engine, while having a decent amount of power - 120 horsepower and 160 Nm (118 lb ft) of torque from 1.6-liters of displacement - can really struggle to keep the acceleration going full speed without the driver recurring to much higher rpm.
Even though the car looks like a slightly polished shoebox, the aerodynamics aren't half bad, with a Cd of only 0.31. In other words, the main fault for the rather poor performance at higher speeds can only be found in the five-speed manual gearbox, whose fourth and fifth gears are very long and fuel consumption-friendly.
Although the 10.9 seconds required to go from naught to 100 kilometers per hour (62 mph) aren't exactly a lot for a car that weighs 1365 kilograms (3,000 pounds), the feel you get when trying to pass someone at highway speeds is not very encouraging and it almost always requires you to switch to fourth gear.
As far as the high speed sound levels, with so many windowed areas around you wouldn't expect a lot of peace and quiet, would you? Neither did we, but, though they are a bit on the high side, the overall sound levels are quite acceptable, mainly thanks to the unexpectedly good aerodynamics.
The real surprise came after switching off the cruise control and trying the car on some serpentine roads. Even though the rear suspension is not a multilink or something and it has a rather long travel, the C3 Picasso can really hold its own in the curves, especially when comparing it with other MPVs of this size.
Of course, after "thrashing" it through the curves, the open road fuel consumption rose from the "highway with cruise control on" 5.8 liters per 100 km (US 40.6 mpg) to almost 9 liters per 100 km (US 26.1 mpg). All in all, the Citroen C3 Picasso had a decent performance outside the busy city, although we wouldn't exactly recommend it for very long trips given the rather upright position of the rear seats.Continue reading
Hold on, Mary would like to say something...
Awww, just look at it! It's so cute and cuddly from the outside and so spacious and cheerful from the inside! I just love it! This Citroen may be the perfect car for a young mother. Not that I would ever consider being one, of course. Not in this decade. Just sayin'.
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